The winner of the Green Alley Award 2022, Europe’s first startup prize for the circular economy, is Voltfang from Germany. The startup’s winning idea: Extending the lifecycle of batteries from electric vehicles. Their green electricity storage system uses only second life batteries from electric cars. In this way, the Voltfang system can store excess energy from solar panels and provide clean energy to companies and private households. The decision was made on the evening of April 28th at Haus Ungarn in Berlin. In mentoring sessions, the finalists worked with experts on their business model. During the award ceremony, all six startups presented their business idea to the audience and the jury in live pitches.
Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group and creator of the award, is very satisfied with this year’s winner: “Voltfang addresses a vital topic for the circular economy. The number of electric cars on our roads will increase to 30 million by 2030 according to EU plans and so will the amount of waste batteries from these cars. What convinced us about Voltfang’s business idea was that they not only specialize in making the best out of these used batteries but also contribute to closing the gap in our renewable energy transition. The startup makes use of the fact that lithium-ion batteries are not dead after being swapped out of EVs and still have a lot of juice left. In this way, the lifecycle of waste batteries is extended and already produced energy is made accessible whenever it is needed,” said Schulz. “With the Green Alley Award, we put a spotlight on circular startups like Voltfang that can make a decisive contribution to our fight against climate change.”
David Oudsandij, co-founder and CFO of Voltfang, is delighted about the award and explains how the startup will use the prize money of 25,000 euros: “We are thrilled to receive this award. We are now in a critical phase of global warming; every second counts. We need sustainable storage solutions like our Voltfang electricity storage system to achieve the energy transition. This is the only way we can conserve resources, reduce dependence from abroad and save one or the other battery from going to waste. Therefore, we will use the prize money to commercialise our product, create more impact and enable a future worth living.”
The Green Alley Award is the first European startup award for the circular economy. Since 2014, Landbell Group has rewarded young companies whose solutions help to use less finite resources and reduce waste. In 2022, 177 startups throughout Europe applied with their business models in the categories of digital circular economy, recycling or waste prevention. In March, Landbell Group nominated six finalists who impressed with a plant-based alternative to plastic coating for fruit and vegetables, a digital platform for circular fashion, a sustainable cushioning material, plastic-like but ecological food packaging and a global platform for trading recyclable materials. “We are very pleased that we are once again able to present a strong winner with Voltfang this year. With its convincing business model for a circular battery economy, Voltfang can really make a difference for the circular economy,” said Schulz.